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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  January 16, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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into campaign mode in july or august. >> luke russert, thank you. >> congrats on your ravens. >> thanks so much. it's a big deal. martin is going to be back tomorrow. i'll be with you tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern for my show. i will have on a solid purple tie in honor of the ravens. i forgot to do that today. dylan ratigan is in california to take us forward with the next hour. >> hi, thomas. thank you so much. show starts right now. good afternoon to you from southern california. we kick off our 30 million jobs tour for this country later this week. i am dylan ratigan. it's a pleasure to be seeing you. we'll talk about the jon huntsman news in a moment, but our big story on this martin luther king jr. holiday is the
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new math of racism in america. the "greedy bastards" have rebranded racism by calling it the war on drugs. they made it both acceptable and profitable. the concerns of racism from the 1950s and '60s have improved in this country, if you look at the numbers, the war on drugs has become a racist war. blacks are 10 times as likely as whites to be incarcerated for the same drug crimes. there are more blacks in prison or on probation in america today than there were enslaved in this country prior to the civil war. but remember, this is "greedy bastards"-style racism. there's a profit to be made from the war on drugs and in keeping a huge number of folks in prison. law enforcement agencies are allowed by federal law to use seized drug money to supplement their budgets.
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an appealing carrot at a time of cutbacks. u.s. taxpayers, you and me, spent $74 billion on prisons in 2007 with the biggest increase of our money going to for-profit prison companies. and yes, publically traded for-profit prison companies exist. these companies have massive lobbying and political wings to keep the war on drugs alive as they also happen to use the very prisoners that they put into our prisons as cheap labor. we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to federal campaigns and millions of dollars to state elections and local politicians, not to mention millions more on lobbying dollars. our generation's civil rights march is about getting money out of politics. and today across the country, civil rights advocates are
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occupying all 13 federal reserve banks. they are calling it occupy the dream. more on that coming up. we start with two leaders of today's movement. civil rights leaders benjamin chavis. he's also a former naacp director and he is the national director of the million-man march. w simmons. he coauthored with us today our huffington post blog. it's called occupy the dream. it's a privilege to welcome both of you. what's the response been? >> this has been an ongoing fight for me. ben was involved when we fought the rockefeller drug laws. we were very successful in making some shifts in the laws
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in this state and across the country actually. there have been other state governments that made big changes. but as you know, the worst of these laws across the country were the rockefeller drug laws. we had 100,000 kids through the hip hop community. we got activists like hillary clinton at that time. then become governor and helped us a great deal. governor patterson who made the final changes. we fought and sparred and made a change and lots of people came home. but not significant enough change was made at that time. we did more. it's an ongoing fight all over this country. there are state laws and federal laws that are influenced by lobbyists. our biggest impediment in every state and on the federal level has been the lobbyists. as you know, those complexes
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have very strong lobbyists. even more than any political ideals, it was the lobbyists and money that kept these people in prison and still keeps them in prison. that's the fight that we're discussing today. but the idea of occupy the dream, we believe, is the core of lots of the economic problems or inequality we talk about. when the money comes out of politics, politicians are free to work for the people. nobody wants to spend these billions of dollars. i was shocked to see the numbers they spent lobbying. i thought it was less money. imagine how cheap it is that little bit of lobbying money. it has nothing to do with the kind of profit they made keeping people in jail. that's my estimation of where we are and what we're trying to do. >> if you look at the numbers, black incarceration rate. 40% of the prison population and 14% of the u.s. population. who knew such little money could
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get you so much action. $6 million to state politicians. how broadly understood do you think the connection between the incarceration rates and the financial interests of the prison spril complex funding our politicians, how well understood do you believe these connections are today? >> thank you, dylan. the good news is, i think there's a growing awareness. there's a growing understanding of the connection. the next is between money and politics controlling the corruption of our democracy. but i'm so pleased to tell you on this day, occupy the dream, there's a growing movement. we're planting good seeds in new york and los angeles and chicago and washington, d.c., and philadelphia, and kansas city and minneapolis. we were in over 20 cities today. right now, just got a text from chicago. they are just beginning outside the federal reserve bank. the clip you saw earlier at the beginning of the show was from
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new york. we had a good crowd. i'm so pleased that not only black people and white people and asian and native americans are truly -- it's a multiracial dynamic happening. dr. king would be so pleased to see people supporting and recognizing his birthday in an activist way. we need to challenge income and inequality. economic injustice. so i like what you wrote today in terms of occupy the dream, the mathematics of racism. the economics of racism. the politics of racism. but also when we talk about racism, we think only black people are involved. all people are involved when we need to get this money out of our system. that's why occupy the dream supports a constitutional amendment to ban all this corporate money out of politics today. we have to rescue our democracy. we have to reset things.
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i'm looking forward. this is just the first day. and i'm romming my sleeves. russell simmons is giving me the authorization. i'm on it. >> let me just say this about ben. he was the organizer of the million-man march. to work with these church guys, it must be a pleasure for him, but this is the nuke leous. a number of these people worked with dr. king. it's exciting to see them going back to work. it was king's dream to have the civil rights community to work with the unions and to have young energy like we have through occupy wall street. it was his dream to have them all march together for economic justice. so this is exciting not only for ben, but for me. it's my first bout, but ben has been in a number of them. i'm excited to do this work.
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>> i'm so pleased to see young ministers like jamal bryant at the temple in baltimore. you should have seen him today. all of them at the church. dr. king's denomination. jesse jackson is outside the reserve right now. all of our civil rights organizations. everybody is involved with occupy the dream. dylan, i'm so glad you wrote that article. because it points to these. >> why the jobs overseas? why don't we have health care? what i think occupy the dream can do is educate the public. i don't think sitting politicians are happy to change anything.
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i speak to very powerful senator. i said about occupy the dream. he said it's a good idea, but it will never happen. the fact is, it's going to be difficult to move any democrat or republican. this is not a democrat or republican initiative. it's not a tea-party initiative or a progressive. this is an american. this is a -- anyone out of ten americans believe -- this speaks to everyone. nine out of ten americans believe that there's too much special interest money in our politics. this constitutional amendment promotes public funding. there's no more expenditures. like the super pacs that are hijacking our elections. it seems to me that it's obvious. we just have to push it into the conscious of the people. when we do that, they are going to force the politicians to do what's right. >> i'm going to leave it on that note and say what a privilege it
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is to not only be able to host the two of you, but to thank both of you for your leadership as multiple groups are finding each other around this singular issue that speaks to the issue of justice in the american way. not a particular political agenda. i look forward to future work with both of you. thank you so much. >> absolutely. thank you for the work you have been doing. you're a great inspiration to many people in this movement. we mentioned some civil rights groups, but there are many groups dedicated to this issue. i'm excited they are coming together to push for this big american revolution. >> thank you. we'll talk to you sooner rather than later. ben chavis and russell simmons, if you're looking to see the article, global grind. check it out. there it is. russell and myself coming together to simply discuss the
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mathematics of racism, a provocative piece, but one we hope is informative and is an onramp for those groups. as we move forward this afternoon, coming up on this martin luther king holiday, occupy the dream shining light on the inequity in america. and taking the fight straight to the fed. plus jon huntsman is out of the hunt. but another candidate is looking to give romney a run for his money in south carolina. why one super pac is alleged mitt is a serial killer. and we're focusing on giving america the debate we truly deserve. we're in california gearing up for a big 30 million jobs tour. we're on the road again through the winter. driving towards solutions to our unemployment crisis. it all kicks off this wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
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this race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks, not worthy of the american people. and not worthy of this critical time in our nation's history. today i am suspending my campaign. >> back now with today's other big story. huntsman out of the hunt. ironically, throwing his support behind mitt romney, the man he
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has been campaigning against. so from bitter rivals to political best buddies, huntsman says it is because romney has the best chance to beat president obama. so that not so grand old party can win the race to the bottom. let's bring in peter maricy and ari. romney perceives to be the best person to beat obama by the transitive property does that mean he believes romney is the person that is the best to guide america through this critical time, which wasn't where huntsman was at a day ago? >> i don't think the property holds here. i think that reflects a raw political calculous that whatever he has to bring to bare, he has to bring it immediately to free up the
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points that might be out there in the so-called moderate vote within the gop primary in time for saturday's vote. the other thing, you played the clip where he said things have gotten so out of control. i'm not going to say this is the most high-minded race, but i have to disagree with him. i don't see a lot of personal atax on him because he never got that far. if anything, this race has shown a battle of some ideas. there's been a debate about corporate personhood and also about bain capital and religion and abortion. so i think there's some ideas percolating here. his critique sounded sour grapes to me. >> peter? >> my feeling is there's nothing new about this. george bush referring to ronald reagan as voodoo.
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it provides a counterweight to that and ensures he will get a big win. >> the last word and i'm moving on to the entertainment portion. >> obviously, the media are going to miss huntsman. they will probably end up on fox news shortly. probably facing up obama who raised $68 million in the last quarter. we're up for a negative election. we have a long way to go. >> and now moving to a rather serious, but funny twist in the gop race. steven colbert's super pac is wasting no time going after mitt romney. >> mitt romney has a secret. as head of bain capital, he bought companies, carved them up, and got rid of what he
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couldn't use. if mitt romney really believes -- >> corporations are people , my friend. >> -- then mitt romney is a serial killer. he's mitt the ripper. >> over the weekend, colbert out defending his super pac. >> i'm not calling anybody a serial killer. i can't tell americans for a better tomorrow tomorrow what to do. it's not my super pac. it's the super pac of jon stewart. i don't know if mitt romney is a serial killer. that's a question he'll have to answer. >> layers of irony and comedy inside of this, but ari you mentioned the debate of corporations being people, which is sort of a comedic, it deserves the treatment it's getting in my view. you meet ben cohen and jerry
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greenfield. they are clearly humans. they live in houses and drive cars. then you have ben and jerry's ice cream and enjoy it. it's clearly not a person. how good of a job is colbert doing in driving the absurd day of this issue into the presidential debate. >> i think he's doing a fantastic job. there's a triple whammy. he's talking about corporate personhood. he's talking about the way these campaigns are operating because many people argue that super pacs are not accountable enough. and he's talking about really how do we resolve all of this? which is the reform aspect. if you state a problem well enough like something is really bad, then reform becomes obvious. like let's get rid of the really bad things. i think colbert has done all of those three things while entertaining people and the ricochet is well into the news. the news cares about the jokes. >> peter, you agree with that?
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>> i do. what we're seeing here is the tv version of the newspaper political cartoonist. he's doing it effectively by drawing attention to the absurdity and the notion that corporations are people. corporations are legal entity that have personality in court. we sue them to the extent they have money, but they are not people with rights. it's absurd for romney to refer to them as people. also the notion of these independents pacs we have created as a way around the campaign finance laws. i think it's a wonderfully-layered ironic way of presenting what is the hypocrisy of these campaigns. >> it really is masterful in his messaging and his entertainment value. as a native of a foreign land, imojen, are corporations people in england? >> no. not that i'm aware of. you have to love colbert. this goes back to ancient
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greece. it's so important when you have a serious campaign such as get money out to have the satire on the side. it makes ideas accessible to all and gets that hook for all of us to make it entertaining, but there's a serious point here. it's going to be interesting to see what happens. what is going to happen when obama with his super pacs come in? we're in for an interesting 2012. >> the serial killer, a new narrative for me. >> you have had vampires. >> it's too funny. the panel stays. straight ahead, what martin luther king would think of american inequity today. ttd#: 1-800-345-2550
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dream. there have been dental strags demonstrations outside the federal reserve bank. this is a movement back in new york. the fed, an agency that was formed 100 years ago by banks and continues to work for the preservation of the current banks to this very day. in fact, the federal reserve without any consent from us has pumped $8 trillion into the banking system during the financial crisis. $30 trillion at its peak revealed in the audit. our bills as a country in access of $61 trillion and all of this happening with a complete desert of investment in our own nation. down a trillion dollars bank lending over the past three years as we have given trillions
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to the banks. the 99% suffocate in that desert of investment. the 1% reap the harvesting of our wealth. joining us now, a leader in the occupy movement nomi prince, who was once an executive at gold man saks. give me a glimpse of the message of the protests, what is the point of highlighting this institution in this way? >> the federal reserve has been, as you mentioned, historically the bank of the banks. but in no time in its history has been it been so militantly against the public and for the banks in the amount of money that it has flushed on to the financial system. and part of what the occupy movement is trying to show here
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relative to the fed is that there's a central, private entity that's funding the risk that these banks have taken. the rifbs that they have extracted from the american people. the foreclosures, the bad borrowing documents, the inability of small businesses to find loans. all of these are decisions made by this fed at the expense of our 99% in order to not just enrich, but enrich the top six banks or so who have become bigger and more powerful than in late 2008. >> peter, you have done a tremendous amount of work with us on the trade deficit in showing the consequences of the flows of money out of america and how difficult it is to create jobs when money is leaving. how consequential is that decline in lending? that trillion dollars in lending when you add it to the trade
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deficit? and why is investing a precursor to prosperity? >> it is really quite consequen consequential. if you're trying to compete with the chinese, there's the cost and availability of capital to expand. and to expand your business so that you can hire a worker, you need to add millions of dollars in new capital each time. the small businesses are the ones that create the jobs. they are the ones that can't get the loans. thanks to the policies we have had over the last couple years, most deposits have been concentrated in the hands of these six largest banks. they don't make main street loans. they take deposits from main street to new york where they gamble. they use them in the casino. not to the purpose of creating jobs, but to the purposes of enriching themselves. >> and ari, how close are we to seeing this issue rise to the level of the presidential debate? >> i think what you have in the
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ron paul campaign is a candidate who has talked about the fed for a long time and really shows a really grass roots hunger for that on the republican side. i think, although some of his issues are controversial for other reasons that have nothing to do with economic policy, there's also a real fear of the ron paul momentum. the other question i have for nomi is the tarp spending got a lot of attention and was broadly well known. there was a debate, however, rushed, and then the money was discussed. but there was so much more that dylan highlighted with regard to all of the extra secret loans made at almost no interest whatsoever that were revealed through freedom of information requests and other reporting. in your work, do you have a sense on why that information was not available to the public? and any thoughts on that?
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>> that's a great question, ari. i have reports on this from 2009 on my site. every month looking at the outflows from the federal reserve. not at the detail level that the freedom of information act suits have been able to extract, but at the magnitude level. there was $13 trillion worth of bailouts floating the banking system. net of that tarp money that was focused upon by the media. the reason it was focused upon is because it's the only aspect of the bailout that congress had the ability to vote upon. everything that happened through the fed and through the treasury department and everything that the fdic had to do because of the fed and the treasury department was the trillions of dollars that had no vote, that weren't brought up into the public forum until afterwards. and the media had a role in not showing that and not dig iging as deep. bloomberg and this show and so forth aside. i think that's one of the
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issues. but the fact remains, there's $1.6 trillion of just access reserves doing nothing for the mainstream population. not going into infrastructure or jobs. just literally sitting there gaining interest at the fed, which was created at the bailout. that's one portion of what still remains and what's still a drain on the system of the main street public relative to the risk that was being mentioned before that has been blown up by the banking system. the banking system has more derivatives than before the bailouts begin. it's more risky and bigger. nothing is really standing in its way except here and there, ron paul and different people are looking at what the fed has been doing. but the pour that it has been able to have in creating this backstop to the risk that the banking system has created is still there. it's still way too acute for our nation.
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>> what i'd like to ask though, is what the is remedy? how can we get the fed to use these reserves and induce the banking system and make the loans? you're a banker. you understand the mechanism. you're more than someone drawing attention to disparity. how do we get them to use the capital? >> well, number one, you don't pay interest on the capital. so the .25% that's going into the reserves, is going back to the banking system just for having those reserves there, which was part of the stabilization act of 2008. that has to be deleted immediately. this is happening in europe right now. so we have this global bailout economics that's sitting on money that should be used for its main populations. you have to take the interest out of it. you have to basically say you can't keep reserves. either back your own risk, we
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don't do it for you. we float it back to the system. the investors take their losses. the banks take their losses. that money instead of being put there in the case of emergencies for those institution, is put back into the public. if the fed were doing its job as an institution that helps the public, that would be going on. but it isn't. and that's the main problem. it's first to show what the fed is not doing to get the reserves into public use to take them away from backing the banks to not pay for them and then to divide up the banks into the commercial lending and deposits a sects where they go about their risk by themselves and the public is protected because it should be. >> nomi, is there anything in dodd frank that you have seen that accomplishes or attempts to accomplish what you're describing? >> unfortunately, dodd frank doesn't divide things. there's an aspect that deletes
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some private trading from banks, but they have ways on getting around it. i can get around anything in dodd frank. i guarantee you their lawyers and their people can get around it much quicker. unfortunately, there isn't, and there should be. >> all right. wonderful conversation, you guys. thank you all for educating me and everybody else. we're really starting to connect the dots, as they say. peter a pleasure. nomi, it's nice to see you again. next here, one bakery's special treat for the tsa. sam: i'm sam chernin. owner of sammy's fish box.
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but does bringing a floor back to life really make us heroes? [ chuckles ] yes. yes, it does. ♪ call 1-800-steemer we spoke about the arrest rate about the blacks and hispanics in america. you can add young people overall to that list. according to the journal of the american academy of pediatrics, one in three americans will be arrested by the time they are 23 years old. that compares to just more than one in five in the mid-1960s. jo is matt seigel,
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cofounder of our time. and matt, are we arresting more young americans because young americans are more criminal? >> most of the young people accounted for in this statistic, dylan, are being arrested for things as little as not obeying curfew, let alone nonminor offenses. so what we have done, yet again, is create more resources to house people who are part of the problem rather than go after the symptom of the problem, which is the fact that we haven't built the psychological and societal support systems. we haven't invest invested. as you noted in the beginning of your show, we have a private prison lobby who pleases shareholders by virtue of the fact they have beds to fill. they are lobbying for
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politically expedient tough on crime legislation so we put more people in prison beds as opposed to go after the symptom of the problem. >> if you were to look at the statistics, it says the average cost of keeping someone in prison is $30,000 a year. the average cost of keeping someone in public school is two-thirds cheaper, $10,000 a year. you mention the political expedience factor. will you elaborate on that? prison is expensive for the american people. why is it politically expedient? >> we reward politicians who want to be tough on crime. of course, we all want to make sure people who tarnish the public trust are no longer able to pose a threat to our communities. but you look at the majority of young people being locked up.
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these people do not belong in prison. they don't belong in a system where -- by the way, if you're in prison, odds are you're going to end up back in prison. it's tougher to get a job. we have employers who do background checks. it makes them tougher to get a job. we all know that a job is one of the biggest defenders and prevention measures of crime. and of getting involved in any negative activity. i mean, one for that, but we also have a prison lobby that says we can do it cheaper and house our inmates with less bur rack si. but what has happened is they are doing it cheaper because they are not paying guards as much and the facilities are awful. there's terrible sanitation issues. the young people emerge from prison more hardened and not
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rehabilitated. why do we call them department of corrections? they are not making people better. they are making us less safe because they are making people angry and violent when they get out. we need to go back to the source of the problem for $3 billion, which is what our private prison system made last year alone, we could give 100,000 people $30,000 a year jobs. i mean it's completely backwards. >> it's interesting. we were talking earlier with nomi prins. we're about to launch into the 30 million jobs tour. and the precursor to the job creation we need is a cascade of investment in america. just how damaging has the lack of investment in the youth of this country been? >> incredibly damaging. because not only are they actually creating a burden on the taxpayer because they are
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winding up in the criminal justice system and returning to that system because it doesn't give them the empathy to change their way of behavior, but on top of that, because we haven't invested in job programs and workforce training, we're creating a system where people are collecting unemployment benefits. so we have to fund programs deal with the problem opposed to going after the root causes, which are a broken educational system, a public school system that's funding on the basis of how rich you are because it's built on property tax value as opposed to equitable access to teachers. we need to look at how we're turning into more of a cast system in america. based on the family you were born into, you can almost guarantee opportunity. that's completely wrong. we need to hot spot the problems, as you like to say, and look into ways we can build better services and programs to protect people and to also
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educate them so they are empowered as opposed to punishing them so they remain behind bars and become a burden for the taxpayer. >> it's interesting you mention the fact we fund our public education system based on the property values, which actually result in the aexact opposite. we underfund the systems that are most in need. how many people in our political system are even aware that's what they are doing? do you think that's an intended thing or unintended thing? >> i think it's largely built on, yet again, a system that's more accountable to rich and powerful 1% than the majority of people. some politicians are aware. some don't even know how local communities are being funded and how their school systems are working. at the end of the day, the problems start early. if you invest in a young person when they are young and give them an education and a support
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system and you give them community services and head start programs, they are going to become a productive citizen who creates value as opposed to a citizen of society who needs government support in order to just merely exist. and i think that is, yet again, the lack of forward-looking thinking here in washington. >> it's stunning. you wouldn't think such simple principles would require such effort to discuss, like saying, what do you say we invest in our country? what do you say we invest in our young people? what do you say we invest and use the discreet data to have the 21st century to do it with hot spotting? you're leading that crusade. thank you for r your efforts. matt segal, thank you. if you're looking to end the
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greedy bastard behavior in this country, it's the key to saving not only the next generation, but the way we function in this country. it's what we talk about in the back book. it's why we wrote the book "greedy bastards." it's why we have the new website to better help you connect the dots that are preventing us from getting the investment and the aligned interests that will allow us to work together in everything from banking, trade, and health to result in the nation we would all aspire to. but most importantly, it's only by understanding these breaches in our system that we can work together to find solutions to drive investment in into this country. coming up on "hardball," evangelical leaders voted for rick santorum this weekend. or did they? examining allegations who say the pro-santorum vote was rigged. look! the phillips' lady!
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[ female announcer ] live the regular life. now there's no need to hold back. new revolutionary scope dualblast obliterates strong food odors leaving your breath minty fresh. hey. [ male announcer ] so there's no trace of evidence... new scope dualblast.
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on this mlk day, kelly goff joins us with the daily rant. >> there are plenty of cynics who dismoted the moment. but i consider the moment sincere yet sad. i believe mitt romney was sincere for the situation. what's sad is he seemed to be so out of touch that he doesn't realize that all americans don't have a mitt romney to turn to for help. as we skel brat the licelebrate
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the life of martin luther king jr., i thought today would be a good day to correct the misconceptions that romney and the wealthy candidates seem to hold about economic inequality in america. for starters, if you were born wealthy, you have not earned everything you have through hard work. according to a federal reserve study, two out of five membersover the 1% inherited money. in fact, most of the wealthiest candidates to run for president in recent years, all of them were from wealthy families. this is not to say if you were born into wealth, you haven't worked hard and earned some of what you have, but you didn't earn all of it. if you used parent's wealth to finance the real estate successes, donald trump, or to ease your entry into business in politics, mitt romney, don't try to convince the rest of us you
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are self-made because you're not. that doesn't make you a bad person, but you know what does? pretending that if we work harder, we can all be just like you. number two, america is not an equal playing field. startling data confirmed that in america, it's not simply a matter of pulling hard on the boot straps. 62% of americans ratzed in the top fifth of incomes stay in the top two fifths while 65% in the bottom remain in the bottom for life. the studies found that parental session a predictor of one's lifetime class status. and finally, most poor people are not lazy. i can already hear some yelling at the tv screen. so let me clarify. yes, some are lazy just like some rich people are lazy. but the majority of bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. in fact, ruth williams, the volunteer helped by mitt romney was plunged into debt by her
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son's health crisis. in a recent interview, mitt romney alleged that critics are enveehouse. he's probably right. but if one of his sons faced a health crisis, perhaps he'd feel envy too. here's hoping after his encounter with ruth, he feels a bit more compassion. dylan? >> very well said, kelly. thank you very much. it's interesting. we talked about the fed protests. we talked about the money flying around in our system. yet we don't have investment in america. the things we depend on. our banking system, our trade agreements, our tax code are not driving investment into this country. i'm curious to know whether you feel that is becoming better understood as a necessary precursor to any of the things we'd want to have. >> i hope so. it takes one footstep to begin a journey. the occupy

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